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Banda outlines safety depth, talks Bubba Bolden arrival

Banda outlines safety depth, talks Bubba Bolden arrival

Stefan Adams
This fall, Miami Hurricanes safeties coach Ephraim Banda is facing the enormous task of replacing two senior starters on the back end, both of which were picked in the NFL Draft this year. Without Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine, it has been junior Amari Carter and sophomore Gurvan Hall running with the first team so far this camp.

"I think the biggest thing that I’ve seen between them is just the culture that we’ve built in that room over the last few years, starting with Jamal Carter and Rayshawn Jenkins, and then [Sheldrick] Redwine and Jaquan [Johnson] and the standard that they held and put up there,” Banda said. “They understand it. They’ve seen it. They know what it looks like.

“That’s the positives of keeping your coaches the way Blake [Baker] has and Coach Diaz, and having continuity on the staff. That’s what you get. You start to build that. You see that other places who have had their staffs stay and be around. That’s why they play well. They understand the standard, they understand what it looks like, you’re keeping that continuity.”

Despite having high-level safeties at his disposal since he’s been at Miami, Banda, as well and head coach Manny Diaz, love to rotate heavily throughout games, so depth is going to be key at not only safety, but every position on the defense.

"We are going to put the people that we trust on the field," Banda said. "If I got three, then there will be three safeties that rotate in. If I got four, then that's great. I think this year is going to be a little bit different. I anticipate it being a rolling deal. I love it because we need competition. This program is about competition. The more competition you have, the better all your players play. That is how it gets good."

A player on the second unit that is certainly challenging for more playing time is junior Derrick Smith, who has created multiple turnovers across many days so far in camp. Smith is transitioning back to safety after playing last season at striker, and Banda is glad to have him back in his group.

"I think he did a really good job in the offseason of spending a lot of time in the meeting room and getting extra work. I think he improved in the weight room and really dedicated himself in that area, and really bought into Coach Feeley,” Banda said of Smith. “To be honest with you, the best thing that happened to Derrick was Coach Feeley and his staff. They did a tremendous job with him and countless other kids, if you haven’t noticed. So, I think the biggest difference you see in him is a testament to our strength program and to him, because he has really got himself in that meeting room and really helped himself mentally. But he still has a long way to go.”

Overall, Banda is excited about the depth that UM is beginning to create at safety, and pointed out senior Robert Knowles and freshman Keontra Smith as guys that flash at times.

“I have a four-way fight right now," Banda said. "These kids are getting after it. Every day he does something good, then Gurvan does, then Amari does, then Rob does. All of a sudden Keontra pops out of nowhere and does something really well… We’re only on day 5, have a long way to go.

"The best teams in the country are rolling kids. That is how you get great."

While UM builds depth with the current players in camp, UM’s most talented safety might not even be on campus yet. Immediately eligible USC transfer Bubba Bolden is finishing up a summer class before he reports to UM, and is expected to factor into the safety mix when he gets to Miami, something Banda expects will happen next week.

"The biggest thing is getting him acclimated back into a program," Banda said. "Getting him used to the weight room and how we do things and the playbook. We are ready for him and we are planning for him. Right now, we just need to make sure he is physically ready. We don't want to put him in a situation where he can get hurt. We are going to be smart with Bubba. The main focus will be getting him into football shape."

Of Manny Diaz, Banda feels he has been the same guy since he was promoted to the head coaching role at Miami, someone who expects a lot from the staff and players under him.

“He’s demanding, he’s detailed, he just pushes, expects the standard of Miami to be the standard in everything, from the person who is dumping out the water to Dan Enos to myself to coach (Blake) Baker, calling plays, to anybody,” Banda said of Diaz. “The standard at Miami is the standard at Miami. And he expects everyone to hold that and will not accept anything else. And he’s been like that when he was a coordinator, that’s what made him a great coordinator.”
 

Comments (98)

Stoops was the best DB coach we’ve had over the last 20 years, and his best players stayed in the game. Unless they were injured, or it was a blowout, they took all the meaningful snaps. Our Def. had its best overall year under Manny last year with less rotation in the back seven - and much less zone.

Don’t fix what ain’t broken.
 
“To be honest with you, the best thing that happened to Derrick was Coach Feeley and his staff. They did a tremendous job with him and countless other kids, if you haven’t noticed. So, I think the biggest difference you see in him is a testament to our strength program and to him”

Lol sheesh Felder thanks.
 
Stoops was the best DB coach we’ve had over the last 20 years, and his best players stayed in the game. Unless they were injured, or it was a blowout, they took all the meaningful snaps. Our Def. had its best overall year under Manny last year with less rotation in the back seven - and much less zone.

Don’t fix what ain’t broken.
I kind of feel you especially on the zone but if Amari, Gurvan, Bubba, and Smiff are balling you rotate those boys for sure no reason not to stay fresh if those guys all can play to a high standard
 
“To be honest with you, the best thing that happened to Derrick was Coach Feeley and his staff. They did a tremendous job with him and countless other kids, if you haven’t noticed. So, I think the biggest difference you see in him is a testament to our strength program and to him”

Lol sheesh Felder thanks.

This has had me wondering. I believe Felder came with Richt from Georgia. So it’s hard to reconcile that there would be such a disparity between a long time strength coach at a high level SEC program and a guy from Temple.
Maybe Felder was past his prime (some said that about Kehoe ) or for whatever reason just not into it and / or maybe Feely is that young energetic innovative coach that we needed.
 
DBs have to be on the same page on the field. That's established through continuity and repetition. Unless the defense is on the field for an extended drive and a player is gassed, there shouldn't be a lot of rotation on the back end of the defense.
 
This has had me wondering. I believe Felder came with Richt from Georgia. So it’s hard to reconcile that there would be such a disparity between a long time strength coach at a high level SEC program and a guy from Temple.
Maybe Felder was past his prime (some said that about Kehoe ) or for whatever reason just not into it and / or maybe Feely is that young energetic innovative coach that we needed.
He was only an assistant at Georgia and he’s been coaching for less than 10 years . I think he’s just not very good
 
DBs have to be on the same page on the field. That's established through continuity and repetition. Unless the defense is on the field for an extended drive and a player is gassed, there shouldn't be a lot of rotation on the back end of the defense.
 
Elite programs have great backups to the starters. Starters should be able to play free and not worry about making mistakes or looking over there shoulders to rotate. You have to gain chemistry and feel for the game in order to make plays. Top programs don’t rotate guys on the backend, only D line should be rotating like that.
 
Stoops was the best DB coach we’ve had over the last 20 years, and his best players stayed in the game. Unless they were injured, or it was a blowout, they took all the meaningful snaps. Our Def. had its best overall year under Manny last year with less rotation in the back seven - and much less zone.

Don’t fix what ain’t broken.

Please don’t make sense. I read his quotes like you did..he’s still in over his fcking Head.

I can’t stand him. Worst dB coach in all of P5.
 
DBs have to be on the same page on the field. That's established through continuity and repetition. Unless the defense is on the field for an extended drive and a player is gassed, there shouldn't be a lot of rotation on the back end of the defense.

Thank you
 
I kind of feel you especially on the zone but if Amari, Gurvan, Bubba, and Smiff are balling you rotate those boys for sure no reason not to stay fresh if those guys all can play to a high standard

If you got this many guys to rotate is bc you really have none imho and/or you can’t coach well enough to make a distinction on whose the best. Imho is moreso the latter...Guys have to get a flow for the game..the lore they’re in the game, the more their film work preparation kicks in bc they’re in the flow of it.

Banda still mentioning Robert knowles as an option.
 
This has had me wondering. I believe Felder came with Richt from Georgia. So it’s hard to reconcile that there would be such a disparity between a long time strength coach at a high level SEC program and a guy from Temple.
Maybe Felder was past his prime (some said that about Kehoe ) or for whatever reason just not into it and / or maybe Feely is that young energetic innovative coach that we needed.

don't assume the quality of an individual coach rises or falls with the quality (or reputation) of an overall program.

probably one of the best coaches i ever met, spent his entire career in the ivy league and never had any desire to leave, even though he had multiple NFL offers throughout his career.

there are great coaches at every level, and sh*t coaches at every level.

examples of coaches who were great, and had amazing reputations, and you may not have ever heard of them:

carm cozza (Yale)
gary fallon (Washington & Lee)
george smith (st. thomas aquinas HS)
wright bazemore (valdosta HS)
david hixon (amherst)

examples of coaches who sucked mooseco*k, but somehow made the it to top programs, and are names you know:

paul williams (UM)
rich kotite (NY Jets)
les steckel (Minn. Vikings)
rod dowhower (colts)
charlie weis (notre dame)

i could go on, but you get the point. don't confuse the job with the man.
 

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